Historic Preservation

Unlike other subcommittees set up during the Green Plan process, this local Commission has existed since 1979, established by the City Council in response to the establishment of The Maine Historic Preservation Commission in 1973. The Ellsworth Historic Preservation Commission is a branch of City government and its actions and decisions are reviewed and voted on by the City Council. The chair of the Historic Preservation Commission sits on the Green Plan Steering Committee and will provide input to the final Green Plan.

This post card, dated between 1930 and 1945 and captioned "The Friendly City," shows the Union River bridge looking down Main Street Ellsworth.


From the Historic Preservation Ordinance, Chapter 39, City of Ellsworth:

Purpose: “…preserving, protecting, and enhancing buildings and places or areas within the City which possess particular historic or architectural significance in order to promote the educational, cultural, and economic welfare of the residents and visitors to the City.”

In addition to overseeing structures and properties on our list of “Currently Designated Historic Sites, Districts and Landmarks” we encourage the addition of significant structures and properties to that list.

Continuing and Future Actions

A current and future focus is working toward the designation of more historic districts in the City, remembering that the City Council has the final say, and they speak for the taxpayers. Matters to consider include the potential impact on properties within a named historic district and local zoning.

The connectivity of historically significant areas with their continuity of green space is important to identify and preserve. In addition, there are some landscape features that are of particular historic interest in helping to educate and explain Ellsworth’s past lumber and shipping economy. We are also very concerned about the continued loss of historic buildings and disappearance of green space.

We hope to create a list of properties that we recommend as important to preserve, and more actively seek recognition for them. This would include buildings as well as open green spaces and historically significant sites, known also as “cultural resources.”

Top: the Ellsworth Library. Bottom: the Black House.

Museum in the Streets

The “Museum in the Streets” reaches out to citizens and visitors, making history available on plaques in designated areas in the city. This cooperative venture is a partnership with Heart of Ellsworth, Ellsworth Historical Society and the City in its planning process, and will include monetary support from local businesses. We hope to complete this project in 2019.